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International unemployment rates, July 2012

October 03, 2012

In July 2012, among countries covered by the BLS international comparisons program, Italy (10.8 percent) and France (10.0 percent) had the highest unemployment rates. Japan had the lowest unemployment rate (3.9 percent). Concepts and definitions of unemployment in labor force surveys may differ from country to country, and BLS adjusts the estimates from some countries to make them more comparable with U.S. concepts and definitions.

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[Chart data]

From July 2011 to July 2012, among those countries covered in the BLS comparisons, the United States experienced the largest decrease in its unemployment rate (−0.8 percentage point), followed by Japan (−0.4 percentage point). Italy recorded the largest increase in its unemployment rate (+2.5 percentage points), followed by the Netherlands (+0.9 percentage point) and France (+0.7 percentage point). Canada, Sweden, Australia and Germany experienced little or no change in their unemployment rates over the year.

In July 2012, among those countries in the European Union (EU) whose unemployment rates are not adjusted to U.S. concepts by BLS, Spain had the highest unemployment rate (25.1 percent), followed by Portugal (15.7 percent) and Ireland (14.9 percent). Austria recorded the lowest unemployment rate (4.5 percent).

These data are from the International Labor Comparisons program. To learn more, see "International Unemployment rates and Employment Indexes, Seasonally Adjusted, 2008–2012" (HTML) (PDF) (XLS). For further information on comparability issues, see "International unemployment rates: how comparable are they?," by Constance Sorrentino, in the June 2000 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.




Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, International unemployment rates, July 2012 at (visited July 14, 2024).

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